Industrial Relations (IDRL) 320

The Law of Work (Revision 7)

IDRL 320 course cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies (Business and Administrative Studies). IDRL 320 can also be used to fulfill the Social Science area of study (credential students only).

Prerequisite: None. IDRL 215 is strongly recommended.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Science

Human Resources & Labour Relations home page

IDRL 320 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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**Note: Students registering in grouped study mode are advised that there may be some differences in the evaluation and course materials information indicated below. To obtain the most up-to-date information, contact the Faculty of Business Student Support Centre at 1-800-468-6531.


IDRL 320 examines the legal frameworks related to work and employment in Canada. It covers all aspects of work law in an integrated and accessible fashion, including common law, employment law affecting all workplaces, and labour law addressing unionized workplaces. The course is designed to teach the subject in a nonlegalistic manner for practitioners of human resources and labour relations and those wishing to know more about the law of work.

Learning Outcomes

IDRL 320 is a senior-level course examining the framework of law related to work and employment in Canada, including common law, employment law, and labour law. After completing IDRL 320, you should be able to

  • describe the historical origins of work law in Canada and the political and economic context that shapes it;
  • explain the central principles and concepts that define employment in Canada;
  • outline the key features of common law as it applies to employment;
  • identify the central rights and obligations stipulated in statutory and regulatory employment law;
  • describe the legal framework of Canada’s collective bargaining regime;
  • summarize important recent jurisprudence that is shifting employment law in Canada;
  • discuss international law and how it applies to Canada; and
  • consider the implications of emerging work patterns to work law.


  • Unit 1: Introduction to Work law
  • Unit 2: Common Law
  • Unit 3: Employment law
  • Unit 4: Labour Law
  • Unit 5: The Charter, International Law, and the Future of Work Law


To receive credit for IDRL 320, you must obtain a mark of at least D (50 percent) on the final examination and a composite course grade of at least D (50 percent). The weighting of the composite course grade is as follows.

Activity Weighting
Telephone Quiz (Oral Answers) 10%
Assignment 1 (Employment Standards Debate) 15%
Assignment 2 (Collective Bargaining Scenarios) 20%
Assignment 3 (Analytical Essay) 25%
Final Examination 30%
Total 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Note: Examinations for this course must be taken online at an invigilated location. It is your responsibility to ensure that a computer with an Internet connection and Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher browser is available for your use at the invigilation centre.

Course Materials

All materials are available online at the course website and in the Digital Reading Room. In addition to your online materials, your course package also includes the following resources:


Doorey, D. J. (2020). The law of work (2nd ed.). Emond Publishing.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the IDRL 320 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least D (50 percent) on the examination.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 7, January 4, 2021.

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